The Laws of Magic

The Laws of Magic
[Excerpted from _Authentic_Thaumaturgy_ by P.E.I Bonewits]

The Laws of Magic are not legislative laws, but, like those of
physics or musical harmony, are actually fairly practical
observations that have been accumulated over thousands of years.
These laws describe the way magic seems to behave.  Most of these
laws will make sense to you (I hope), and even the more obscure
ones should make some sense to you, but if they don’t, ignore
them, or send me some e-mail, and I will try to explain.

The LAW OF KNOWLEDGE: This is probably the most widely used law,
and probably encompasses all the others in some way.  The basis of
this law is that understanding brings control.  The more that is
known about a subject, the easier it is to excercise control over
it.  Knowledge is power.

The LAW OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE: An obvious derivative of the LAW OF
KNOWLEDGE, this law carries additional connotations, as a mage who
does not have knowledge of himself does not have knowledge (and
therefore control) of his own magic.  This law is one of the
reason’s “evil” mages are very rare – a dedication to “evil for
evil’s sake” is usually do to a lack of introspection and
awareness of oneself.  It is difficult to do harm to others when
you understand fully what that kind of harm would do to you.  Know
thyself.

The LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT: A simple scientific understanding –
if exactly the same actions are done under exactly the same
conditions, they will be associated with exactly the same results.
Magicians have at least as much belief in cause and effect as
modern physicists do, they just realize that a good ritual, like a
good theatrical performance or a good bread recipe, isn’t always
predictable.  In truth, a spell involves so many variables, that
controlling or even understanding them all is impossible.  The key
to magical success is learning which variables are the most
important, and how to keep them constant.  Control over the
variables is icing on the cake.

The LAW OF SYNCHRONICITY: Two or more events happening at the same
time are likely to have more in common than the merely temporal.
Very few events ever happen in isolation from other events.  There
is no such thing as a mere coincidence.

The LAW OF ASSOCIATION: If any two pattern have elements in
common, the patterns interact “through” those common elements, and
control of one pattern facilitates control of the other(s)
depending (among other factors) upon the number of ccommon
elements involved.  This is a very important law, up there with
the LAW OF KNOWLEDGE.

The LAW OF SIMILARITY: Having an accurate physical or mental
representation of something facilitates control over it.  This one
is fairly obvious in it’s usage – having a model, picture, or
other representation of your target (like a voodoo doll) gives you
power to effect the target.  Look alikes are alike.

The LAW OF CONTAGION: Objects or beings in physical contact with
each other continue to interact after separation.  Everyone you
have ever touched has a magical link with you, though it is
probably pretty weak unless the contact was intense and/or
prolonged or repeated frequently.  Magical power is contagious.
Naturally, having a part of someone’s body (nails, hair, spit,
etc.) gives the best contagion link.

The LAW OF NAMES: Knowing the complete and TRUE name of an object,
being, or process gives one complete control over it.  This works
because a name is a definition (yes, even “Harold”, “Marie”,
“Kunte”, and “Jasmine” were at one time) as well as a contagion
link, and an association (if you call something the same name over
and over, that name becomes associated with the thing).  This also
works, because knowing the complete and true name of something or
someone means that you have achieved a complete understanding of
it’s or their nature.  This is why, in most pre-industrial
cultures, people are given “secret names”, as well as “public
names”, and why the sharing of a secret name is such an act of
trust – because the secret name is considered to be very close to,
if not identical with, the person’s true name.

The LAW OF WORDS OF POWER: There exist certain words that are able
to alter the internal and external realities of those uttering
them, and the power may rest in the very sounds of the words as
much as their meanings.  Many of such words are names, though the
meanings may have been lost or forgotten.  Very many magical tools
require words to be inscribed upon them and/or said over them
during their construction and/or use.

The LAW OF PERSONIFICATION: Any phenomenon may be considered to be
alive and to have a personality – that is, to “be” an entity or
being.  Anything can be a person.  Most weather mages personify
the winds and the clouds, for example, and thus find focussing
their magic on the atmosphere much easier to do.

The LAW OF INVOCATION: It is possible to establish internal
communication with entities from either inside or outside oneself,
said entities seeming to be inside of oneself during the
communication process.

The LAW OF EVOCATION: It is possible to establish external
communication with entities from either inside or outside oneself,
said entities seeming to be outside oneself during the
communication process.

The LAW OF IDENTIFICATION: It is possible through maximum
association between elements of oneself and those of another being
to actually become that being, to the point of sharing it’s
knowledge and wielding it’s power.  This is the law that controls
most lengthy or permanent possession phenomena.

The LAW OF PERSONAL UNIVERSES: Every sentient being lives in and
quite possibly creates a unique universe which can never be 100%
identical to that lived in by another.  So called “reality” is in
fact a matter of consensus opinions.  This law is nowhere near as
obvious as the other laws in it’s applications, but if you can
figure some out, you can use it.

The LAW OF INFINITE UNIVERSES: The total number of universes into
which all possible combinations of existing phenomena could be
organized is infinite.  Anything is possible, though some things
are more probable than others.  You might consider this to refer
to the “alternate probability worlds” of science fiction, but it
also has a much wider application.

The LAW OF PRAGMATISM: If a pattern of belief or behavior enables
a being to survive and to accomplish chosen goals, then that
belief or behavior is “true” or “real” or “sensible”.  If it
works, it’s true.  Another rather obscure law, but it does have
some very useful applications.

The LAW OF TRUE FALSEHOODS: It is possible for a concept or act to
violate the truth patterns of a given personal universe and still
be “true”, provided that it “works” in a specific situation.  If
it’s a paradox, it’s still probably true.  This law is basically
useless, except to justify use of the above three laws without
screwing things up in your version of the real world.

The LAW OF SYNTHESIS: The synthesis of two or more “opposing”
patterns of data will produce a new pattern that will be truer
than either of the first two were.  That is, it will be applicable
to more levels of reality, and this new pattern may not be a
compromise, but may be something rather new indeed.

The LAW OF POLARITY: Any pattern of data can be split into (at
least) two “opposing” characteristics, and each will contain the
essence of the other within itself.

The LAW OF OPPOSITES: A sub-law of POLARITY.  The “opposite” of a
pattern contains information about that pattern, by providing
information on what the pattern is not.  Thus, control over a
pattern’s opposite (or close to it’s opposite) facilitates control
over the pattern itself.  (Note that this one I alone take the
blame for, as it is my own extension of POLARITY and SIMILARITY)

The LAW OF DYNAMIC BALANCE: To survive, let alone to become
powerful, one must keep every aspect of one’s universe in a state
of dynamic balance with every other aspect.  Extremism is
dangerous, as the extreme being becomes so associated with the
extreme aspect, that they lose the ability to avoid that aspect at
all.  This is another reason “evil” mages are rare, as continuous
association with pain or death will cause a mage pain or death,
ending the mage’s ability to continue actively with “evil”.  This
is also why “good” mages, especially healers, tend to live a long
time.

The LAW OF PERVERSITY: Sometimes known as Murphy’s Law.  If
anything can go wrong, it will, and in the most annoying manner
possible.  Magical associations sometimes operate in the reverse
of what was desired, and meaningful coincidences are just as
likely to be unpleasant as pleasant.  Even if nothing can go
wrong, some element of the universe may change so that things will
go wrong anyway.  Whether we like it or not, the gods (or fates,
or what have you) do have a sense of humor.  Emotionally healthy
mages have less problems with this law than others do, as the
mages own subconscious mind is probably a major perpetrator of
this law.

The LAW OF UNITY: Every phenomena in existance is linked directly
or indirectly to every other one, past, present, or future.
Perceived seperations between phenomena are based on incomplete
sensing and/or understanding.

Advertisements

THE OLD LAW – PUBLISHED VERSION

THE OLD LAW – PUBLISHED VERSION
——————————-

1. The Law was made and ordained of old.
2. The Law was made for the Wicca, to advise and help in their
troubles.
3. The Wicca should give due worship to the gods and obey their will,
which they ordain, for it was made for the good of Wicca as the
worship of the Wicca is good for the gods. For the gods love the
brethren of Wicca.
4. As a man loveth a woman by mastering her,
5. So should the Wicca love the gods by being mastered by them.
6. And it is necessary that the Circle which is the temple of the gods,
should be truly cast and purified.  And that it may be a fit place
for the gods to enter.
7. And the Wicca shall be properly prepared and purified to enter into
the presence of the gods.
8. With love and worship in their hearts, they shall raise power from
their bodies to give power to the gods.
9. As has been taught of old.
10.For in this way only may men have communion with the gods, for the gods
cannot help man without the help of man.

HPS & HP
11.And the High Priestess shall rule her coven as the representative
of the Goddess.
12.And the High Priest shall support her as the representative of the
God.
13.And the High Priestess shall choose whom she will, be he of
sufficient rank, to be her High Priest.
14.For, as the God Himself kissed Her feet in the five-fold salute,
laying His power at the feet of the Goddess because of Her youth and
beauty, Her sweetness and kindness, Her wisdom and justice, Her
humility and generosity,
15.So He resigned all His power to Her.
16.But the High Priestess should ever mind that the power comes from
Him.
17.It is only lent, to be used wisely and justly.
18.And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess be that she recognize that
youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess.
19.So she will gracefully retire in favour of a younger woman should
the Coven so decide in council.
20.For a true High Priestess realizes that gracefully surrendering
pride of place is one of the greatest virtues.
21.And that thereby she will return to that pride of place in another
life, with greater power and beauty.

SECURITY
22.In the old days, when witchdom extended far, we were free and
worshipped in all the greater temples.
23.But in these unhappy times we must celebrate our sacred mysteries
in secret.
24.So be it ordained that none but the Wicca may see our mysteries, for
our enemies are many and torture loosens the tongue of man.
25.So be it ordained that no Coven shall know where the next Coven bide.
26.Or who its members be, save only the Priest and Priestess and messenger.
27.And there shall be no communication between them, save by the messenger
of the gods, or the summoner.
28.And only if it be safe may the Covens meet in some safe place for
the great festivals.
29.And while there, none shall say whence they came nor give their true
names.
30.To this end, that if any be tortured, in their agony, they may not tell
if they do not know.
31.So be it ordained that no one shall tell anyone not of the craft who be
of the Wicca, nor give any names or where they bide, or in any way tell
anything which can betray any of us to our foes.
32.Nor may he tell where the Covendom be.
33.Or the Covenstead.
34.Or where the meetings be.
35.And if any break these Laws, even under torture, THE CURSE OF THE
GODDESS SHALL BE UPON THEM, so they may never be reborn on earth and
may remain where they belong, in the hell of the Christians.

DISPUTES
36.Let each High Priestess govern her Coven with justice and love, with
the help and advice of the High Priest and the Elders, always
heeding the advice of the Messenger of the Gods if he cometh.
37.She will heed all complaints of all Brothers and strive to settle
all differences among them.
38.But it must be recognized that there will always be people who will
ever strive to force others to do as they will.
39.These are not necessarily evil.
40.And they oft have good ideas and such ideas should be talked over in
council.
41.But if they will not agree with their Brothers, or if they say,
42.”I will not work under this High Priestess,”
43.It hath ever been the Old Law to be convenient to the Brethren and
to avoid disputes.

NEW COVENS
44.Any of the third may claim to found a new Coven because they live over
a league away from the Covenstead or are about to do so.
45.Anyone living within the Covendom and wishing to form a new Coven,
shall tell the Elders of their intention, and on the instant avoid
their dwelling and remove to the new Covendom.
46.Members of the old Coven may join the new one when it is formed.
But if they do, they must utterly avoid the old Coven.
47.The Elders of the new and old Covens should meet in peace and
brotherly love to decide the new boundaries.
48.Those of the craft who dwell outside both Covendoms may join either but
not both.
49.Though all may, if the Elders agree, meet for the great festivals if
it be truly in peace and brotherly love,
50.But splitting the Coven oft means strife, so for this reason these
Laws were made of old and may the CURSE OF THE GODDESS BE ON ANY WHO
DISREGARD THEM. So be it ordained.

GRIMOIRE
51.If you would keep a book, let it be in your own hand of write.  Let
brothers and sisters copy what they will, but never let the book out
of your hands, and never keep the writings of another.
52.For if it be found in their hand of write, they may be taken and arraigned.
53.Let each guard his own writings and destroy them whenever danger threatens.
54.Learn as much as you may by heart and, when danger is past,
rewrite your book, an it be safe.
55.For this reason, if any die, destroy their book an they have not
been able to.
56.For, an it be found, ’tis clear proof against them.
57.And our oppressors know well “Ye may not be a witch alone”.
58.So all their kin and friends be in danger of torture,
59.So destroy everything not necessary.
60.If your book be found on you, ’tis clear proof against you alone,
you may be arraigned.

PERSECUTION
61.Keep all thoughts of the craft from your mind.
62.If the torture be too great to bear, say “I will confess.  I cannot
bear this torture.  What do you want me to say?”
63.If they try to make you speak of the Brotherhood, do not.
64.But if they try to make you speak of impossibilities such as flying through
the air, consorting with a Christian devil or sacrificing children, or
eating men’s flesh,
65.To obtain relief from torture say “I had an evil dream, I was beside
myself, I was crazed.”
66.Not all magistrates are bad, if there be an excuse, they may show
mercy.
67.If you have confessed aught, deny it afterwards, say you babbled
under torture, say you knew not what you said.
68.If you are condemned, fear not.
69.The Brotherhood is powerful and will help you to escape if you stand
steadfast, but if you betray aught there is no hope for you in this life
or in that to come.
70.Be sure, if steadfast you go to the pyre, drugs will reach you, you will
feel naught. You go to death and what lies beyond, the ecstasy of the
goddess.

TOOLS
71.To avoid discovery, let the working tools be as ordinary things
that any may have in their houses.
72.Let the pentacles be of wax so that they may be broken at once or
melted.
73.Have no sword unless your rank allows it.
74.Have no names or signs on anything.
75.Write the names and signs on them in ink before consecrating them
and wash it off immediately afterwards.
76.Let the colours of the hilts tell which is which.
77.Do not engrave them lest they cause discovery.

CONDUCT
78.Ever remember ye are the hidden children of the Goddess so never do
anything to disgrace them or Her.
79.Never boast, never threaten, never say you would wish ill of anyone.
80.If any person not in the Circle, speak of the craft, say, “Speak not
to me of such, it frightens me, ’tis evil luck to speak of it.”
81.For this reason, the Christians have their spies everywhere. These speak
as if they were well affected to us, as if they would come to our meetings,
saying, “My mother used to worship the Old Ones. I would I could go myself.”
82.To such as these, ever deny all knowledge.
83.But to others, ever say, “‘Tis foolish men talk of witches flying through
the air. To do so they must be as light as thistledown. And men say that
witches all be blear-eyed old crones, so what pleasure can there be at a
witch meeting such as folks talk on ?”
84.And say, “Many wise men now say there be no such creatures.”
85.Ever make it jest) and in some future time perhaps, the
persecution may die and we may worship our gods in safety again.
86.Let us all pray for that happy day.
87.May the blessings of the Goddess and God be on all who keep these
Laws which are ordained.

VALUABLES
88.If the craft hath any appanage, let all guard it and help to keep it
clear and good for the craft.
89.And let all justly guard all monies of the craft.
90.And if any Brother truly wrought it, ’tis right they have their pay,
an it be just.  An this be not taking money for the art, but for
good and honest work.
91.And even the Christians say, “The labourer is worthy of his hire,”
but if any Brother work willingly for the good of the craft without
pay, ’tis but to their greater honour.  So be it ordained.

QUARRELS
92.   If there be any dispute or quarrel among the Brethren, the High
Priestess shall straightly convene the Elders and inquire into the
matter, and they shall hear both sides, first alone and then
together.
93.   And they shall decide justly, not favouring one side or the other.
94.   Ever recognising there be people who can never agree to work under
others.
95.   But at the same time, there be some people who cannot rule justly.
96.   To those who must ever be chief, there is one answer.
97.   “‘Void the Coven or seek another one, or make a Coven of your own,
taking with you those who will go.”
98.   To those who cannot rule justly, the answer be, “Those who cannot
bear your rule will leave you.”
99.   For none may come to meetings with those with whom they are at
variance.
100.  So, an either cannot agree, get hence, for the craft must ever
survive.  So be it ordained.

CURSES
101.In the olden days when we had power, we could use the art against any
who ill-treated the Brotherhood. But in these evil days we must not
do so. For our enemies have devised a burning pit of everlasting fire
into which they say their god casteth all the people who worship him,
except it be the very few who are released by their priest’s spells
and masses. And this be chiefly by giving monies and rich gifts to
receive his favour for their great god is ever in need of money.
102.But as our gods need our aid to make fertility for man and crops, so
is the god of the Christians ever in need of man’s help to search out
and destroy us. Their priests ever tell them that any who get our help
are damned to this hell forever, so men be mad with the terror of it.
103.But they make men believe that they may escape this hell if they give
victims to the tormentors. So for this reason all be forever spying,
thinking, “An I can catch but one of these Wicca, I will escape from
this fiery pit.”
104.So for this reason we have our hidels, and men searching long and not
finding, say, “There be none, or if there be, they be in a far country.”
105.But when one of our oppressors die, or even be sick, ever is the cry,
“This be witches’ malice”, and the hunt is up again. And though they slay
ten of their own to one of ours, still they care not. They have countless
thousands.
106.While we are few indeed. So be it ordained.
107.That none shall use the art in any way to do ill to any.
108.However much they may injure us, harm none. And nowtimes many believe
we exist not.
109.That this Law shall ever continue to help us in our plight, no one,
however great an injury or injustice they receive, may use
the art in any way to do ill, or harm any.  But they may, after
great consultations with all, use the art to restrain Christians from
harming us Brothers, but only to constrain them and never to punish.
110.To this end men will say, “Such a one is a mighty searcher out, and a
persecutor of old women whom they deemeth to be witches, and none hath
done him harm, so it be proof that they cannot or more truly there be
none.”
111.For all know full well that so many folk have died because someone had
a grudge against them, or were persecuted because they had money or goods
to sieze, or because they had none to bribe the searchers. And many have
died because they were scolding old women. So much that men now say that
only old women are witches.
112.And this be to our advantage and turns suspicion away from us.
113.In England and Scotland ’tis now many a year since a witch hath died the
death. But any misuse of the power might raise the persecution again.
114.So never break this Law, however much you are tempted, and never
consent to its being broken in the least.
115.If you know it is being broken, you must work strongly against it.
116.And any High Priestess or High Priest who consents to its breach
must immediately be deposed for ’tis the blood of the Brethren they
endanger.
117.Do good, an it be safe, and only if it be safe.
118.And keep strictly to the Old Law.

PAYMENT
119.Never accept money for the use of the art, for money ever smeareth
the taker.  ‘Tis sorcerors and conjurers and the priests of the
Christians who ever accept money for the use of their arts.
And they sell pardons to let men ascape from their sins.
120.Be not as these.  If you accept no money, you will be free from
temptation to use the art for evil causes.
121.All may use the art for their own advantage or for the advantage of
the craft only if you are sure you harm none.
122.But ever let the Coven debate this at length.  Only if all are
satisfied that none may be harmed, may the art be used.
123.If it is not possible to achieve your ends one way, perchance the
aim may be achieved by acting in a different way so as to harm
none.  MAY THE CURSE OF THE GODDESS BE ON ANY WHO BREAKETH THIS
LAW. So be it ordained.
124.’Tis judged lawful if ever any of the craft need a house or land and
none will sell, to incline the owner’s mind so as to be willing to
sell, provided it harmeth him not in any way and the full price is
paid without haggling.
125.Never bargain or cheapen anything whilst you buy by the art.  So be
it ordained.

LAW OF THE LAND
126.”Tis the Old Law and the most important of all laws, that no one may
do anything which will endanger any of the craft, or bring them into
contact with the law of the land or any persecutors.
127.In any dispute between Brethren, no one may invoke any laws but
those of the craft.
128.Or any tribunal but that of the Priestess, Priest and Elders.

DISCUSSION OF WITCHCRAFT
129.It is not forbidden to say as Christians do, “There be witchcraft in
the land,” because our oppressors of old make it a heresy not to
believe in witchcraft and so a crime to deny it which thereby puts you
under suspicion.
130.But ever say, “I know not of it here, perchance there may be but afar
off, I know not where.”
131.But ever speak of them as old crones, consorting with the devil and
riding through the air.
132.And ever say, “But how may many ride the air if they be not as light
as thistledown.”
133.But the curse of the Goddess be on any who cast suspicion on any of
the Brotherhood.
134.Or who speak of any real meeting-place or where they bide.

WORTCUNNING
135.Let the craft keep books with the names of all herbs which are good,
and all cures so all may learn.
136.But keep another book with all the Bales and Apies and let only the
Elders and other trustworthy people have this knowledge.  So be it ordained.
137.And may the blessings of the gods be on all who keep these Laws, and
the curses of both the God and the Goddess be on all who break them.

USE OF THE ART
138.Remember the art is the secret of the gods and may only be used in
earnest and never for show or vainglory.
139.Magicians and Christians may taunt us saying, “You have no power,
show us your power. Do magic before our eyes, then only will we believe,”
seeking to cause us to betray the art before them.
140.Heed them not, for the art is holy and may only be used in need,
and the curse of the gods be on any who break this Law.

RESIGNATIONS
141.It ever be the way with women and with men also, that they ever seek
new love.
142.Nor should we reprove them for this.
143.But it may be found a disadvantage to the craft.
144.And so many a time it has happened that a High Priest or a High
Priestess, impelled by love, hath departed with their love.  That
is, they left the Coven.
145.Now if the High Priestess wishes to resign, she may do so in full
Coven.
146.And this resignation is valid.
147.But if they should run off without resigning, who may know if they
may not return in a few months?
148.So the Law is, if a High Priestess leaves her Coven, she be taken
back and all be as before.
149.Meanwhile, if she has a deputy, that deputy shall act as High
Priestess for as long as the High Priestess is away.
50.If she returns not at the end of a year and a day, then shall the
Coven elect a new High Priestess,
151.Unless there is a good reason to the contrary.
152.The person who has done the work should reap the benefit of the
reward. If somebody else is elected, the deputy is made maiden
and deputy of the High Priestess.

TRAINING
153.It has been found that practicing the art doth cause a fondness
between aspirant and tutor, and it is the cause of better results if
this be so.
154.And if for any reason this be undesireable, it can easily be avoided
by both persons from the outset firmly resolving in their minds
to be as brother and sister or parent and child.
155.And it is for this reason that a man may be taught only by a woman
and a woman by a man, and women and women should not attempt these
practices together.  So be it ordained.

PUNISHMENT
156.Order and discipline must be kept.
157.A High Priestess or a High Priest may, and should, punish all
faults.
158.To this end all the craft must receive correction willingly.
159.All properly prepared, the culprit kneeling should be told his fault
and his sentence pronounced.
160.Punishment should be followed by something amusing.
161.The culprit must acknowledge the justice of the punishment by
kissing the hand on receiving sentence and again thanking for
punishment received.  So be it ordained.

—–
-These Laws appear to have become part of the GBG BOS shortly after Doreen
Valiente left his Coven (in 1957); they existed at the time that she left.
(They were an innovation at that time, and were one of the things that
the people who hived at that time refused to accept, though not themselves
a reason for hiving.) See Doreen Valiente’s “The Rebirth of Witchcraft”.
-Some of this material was already in the GBG BOS at the time. See the
Farrars’ “The Witches’ Way”.
-They also seem to be present throughout the Alexandrain stream.
(See the Farrars’ “The Witches Way”, and June Johns’ “King of the
Witches”.)
-The list I give here is drawn from several published sources:
June Johns,”King of the Witches”
Lady Sheba,”The Grimoire of Lady Sheba”
Janet and Stewart Farrar,”The Witches’ Way”
I used Johns as my primary source, as Sheba is generally full of copyist
errors, and the Farrars don’t give the full text.
I couldn’t find the section headings in any published source, but I included
them anyway because they make the text easier to follow.
-Sheba *may* be a more accurate source than Johns for the GBG version.
(Some of what I took to be typos may well have been GBG-ism’s.)
Johns is probably a better source for Alex Sanders’ own version.
Covens in either lineage have probably cross referenced and ‘corrected’
what they took to be errors. (For example, in Law 60, I use the word
‘arraigned’. Sheba gives ‘engained’, which makes no sense (that we know
of). However, ‘engined’ (meaning tortured) makes more sense in context
than ‘arraigned’. Did Alex Sanders mis-correct the ‘engained’ error ?

THE AUTARCHIC CREED

THE AUTARCHIC CREED

We of the Old Religion have our own particular compact with our
deities that charges simply, “An it harm none, do as ye will.”
And our gods do not despise us for being human but delight in our
celebrations of life and love. We are ageless souls, only for a
while within bodies – merely visitors upon this plane. We are
brothers to the gods and only temporarily cousins to the ape,
and our lives belong to us, not to this world nor to its earthly
governors. We are not doomed to shame and decay; not lost; not
indentured to perish with earthly manifestations; not disposed
to eternal misery for any past or present lapses of courage or
wisdom. We are as children in the school of life who must learn
our lessons, on life at a time, before we graduate. Our lives
span the march of time, striving upward, subordinate only to our
individual probity and growth.

But in this mortal life, greedy, trivial hierophants and mundane
rulers have perpetrated a fraud upon humanity. They have purloined
for profit and temporal power, our legitimate heritage, and that of
all society, and have substituted for it shame, despair, and fear,
inventing evil deities to terrify and to constrain mankind from the
exercise of his own native conscience.

Still we take our uncertain portion time and again, joining with the
species on this plane, only to meet with earthly disunity and distress;
only to be told by bogus, uncelestial shepherds that we are deficient
and fundamentally iniquitous; constantly rebuked that our natural
birthright is insubstantial or even sinful, and that we must cleave
to the pious injunctions of reigning mortals, no matter how oppressive,
or suffer beyond measurable time, yearning for some mythical golden
glory just out of reach, but somehow never quite worthy of it.

That is the apocryphal hell and the fabled satan; they are of mortal
creation; they are now, not in some remote bye-and-bye; and those who
choose to believe in them perpetuate them in this earth. But nevertheless,
by by sublime design, despite narrowness, folly or fear, we all, each
and every one, possess this wonderous legacy:

that each of us sustains a singular covenant with the cosmic, in that
the soul is and ever was, one with the universe, conducting itself in
concordance with the absolute. And whatever paths it may walk, or
whichever faith it may follow, on sojourn at a time, each shall as a
consequence of that oneness, and attuning with its destiny, eventually
return on its own to its source to again be part of that totality,
atoned, aware and unshackled.
“JUSTIFICUS”

THE ANCIENT ART & Common Inquiries

THE ANCIENT ART

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there were people who believed
in laughter,  joy and love.   They believed in many deities,  but
the most important to them was their Great Mother Goddess.   They
believed in and lived with the powers of Nature.  They reveled in
the Wind,  the Rain, the Snow and the Sunlight.  They marveled at
and  revered  the changing of the seasons and saw  therein  great
excitement  and  wisdom to be gained.   They knew  that  if  they
tended,  cared  for  and  loved the Earth,  in return  She  would
provide for,  care for and love them.   They saw that all  around
them  the  world was filled with Life,  much as their own but  in
many  different and wonderful forms.   They felt the life of  the
flowers,  plants  and  trees  and respected them  for  that  life
essence.   They  looked about and observed all the many types  of
animals  and saw that they were kindred to them and  loved  them.
They  felt  and observed the great Love of the Goddess all  about
them  and knew kinship with the Moon.   They were practioners  of
The Old Religion, worshipers of The Great Mother.

Witch!   The  very word instantly invokes visions for each of us,
visions which vary greatly from individual to  individual.   Many
of these visions, however, are quite false, brought about by many
centuries of severe persecutions,  mis-representations, prejudice
and,  in recent years, lack of knowledge. Witchcraft!  What is it
really?

Witchcraft  is the oldest,  most irrepressible religion  in  the
world  because it stimulates the intellect,  promotes a  simple,
practical  way  of life and,  most importantly,  is  emotionally
satisfying.  Its roots lie in the ancient Matriarchal systems of
Goddess  worship.   A  religion of Nature in which  the  primary
deity  is female (The Essence of Femininity,  The Earth  Mother,
The Great Mother, etc.).

It  was  easy for the Wise Ones to look at the world around  them
and see the great importance of Feminine Principle.   The  female
was,  indeed,  the  one  who  bore the young,  perhaps  the  most
magickal of all events to ancient man.   Then,  she played by far
the  most  important role in rearing  the  young,  being  totally
responsible  for feeding,  for without her milk there was no life
past birth.   She was responsible for the teaching and early care
of the young.   In all youths the greatest comfort and  nurturing
love  were  connected  with the mother.   These  revelations  and
experiences could hardly lead to any other choice than the  total
reverence and deification of the female.

Although  The Great Mother is the most important  deity,  Witches
do,  generally,  recognize  many Goddessess and/or Gods and  are,
therefore,  polytheistic.   The tenets of Witchcraft are few  but
all-encompassing,  for  with three simple Universal  Observations
all of life can be explained and understood:

Š
1)  Reincarnation  – Mortality
2)  Cause & Effect – Magick
3)  Retribution    – Morality

Reincarnation  enlightens the Witch to the fact that,  as we come
to  this  material world over and over in a  series  of  learning
periods,  or lifetimes, we will eventually have to experience all
things,  be  all things,  understand all things.   This creates a
great tolerance for other viewpoints in the Witch.

Cause & Effect,  and an understanding of it,  allows the Witch to
see  what makes the world work and how to live most  efficiently.
It  gives them a great advantage in that it explains the  working
of Magick.

Retribution shows the Witch, in graphic terms, that every thought
one might have,  every action one may take,  is returned in  like
kind.   This realization forms the basis of the Moral Code of the
Witch.

The  Patriarchal  Societies which evolved in later times  had  no
tolerance for the Goddess religions and systematically set out to
destroy the material vestiges,  kill or convert the adherents and
wipe  out all knowledge of them.  They destroyed the temples  and
other  places  of  worship,  desecrated  the  sacred  groves  and
magickal places,  attempted to pervert the old deities, mutilated
and totally suppressed sacred art, tore down libraries and burned
books,   tortured  and  killed  the  practitioners  of  the   Old
Religions,  demeaned,  persecuted  and oppressed women in general
and  passed  strictly enforced laws which made theirs  the  State
Religion and forbade all other viewpoints.

Despite  the  centuries  of  insidious  persecution,   deliberate
destruction  and  perversions  at  the  hands  of  the  Christian
Conspirators, Witchcraft has survived.

COMMON INQUIRIES

I’ve  heard the terms ‘White Witch’ and ‘Black Witch’.   Can  you
explain?

In  this connotation,  white is referring to Positive,  Black  is
referring to Negative.   A White Witch then is someone who  tries
to do Positive or Good things.   Black Witch could be a term used
to describe someone who deliberately does Negative or Bad things.
A  True Witch believes in the Law of Retribution and would  never
deliberately  harm anyone or anything or participate in  Negative
or Destructive acts.

Is  it  possible  for  me to practice  Witchcraft  and  remain  a
Christian?

No.    The   Christian  Doctrine  states,   unequivocally,   that
Christians  shall  have no other Gods before the  Christian  God.
Christian  Doctrine  says to believe in any other deities  or  to
practice  any  other  religion is not only  evil  but  should  be
punished by death, specifically naming Witchcraft.  The Christian
Doctrine  also denies Reincarnation and prescribes punishment for
those who practice Magick.

Devil worship?

Witches   do  not  worship  the   Devil.    Witchcraft   predates
Christianity  and does not incorporate a belief in the  Christian
Devil.

The  Wise Ones did deify the Masculine Principle and quite  often
He  was depicted as The Great Horned God;   Pan,  Cernunnos,  the
Great  Stag,  The Green Man.   To the  Traditional  Witch,  the
Masculine Deity (the Goddess’ Consort) is very important, revered
and loved.   He is the perfect Father,  the Lord Protector.   The
Horned God of the Witches is loving, kind and good.

Don’t men have difficulty with a supreme female deity?  There are
some  groups  which  give equal status to  the  female  and  male
deities.

Neo-Pagans are,  by definition,  people who attempt to live  with
the Old Country Ways in a new,  modern day manner.  And while, in
this modern era,  equal status for the deities may be popular, as
it   relates   to  Witchcraft  it  is   historically   incorrect.
Therefore,  a  group  which  does not recognize  the  Goddess  as
primary  deity is not practicing The Ancient Art.  Indeed,  they,
generally,  know  very  little about  Witchcraft,  despite  their
claims.   Traditional  Dualistic  Witches  do  most  emphatically
believe  that  women  and  men are equal,  but  have  no  trouble
relating to the Goddess.   The Male Witch finds great comfort and
solace in his Great Mother.

Do I have to join a Coven?

No.   It  is not necessary nor is it desirable for a  great  many
people.   Some people enjoy the support and companionship a Coven
provides,  others enjoy solitary worship.  The Coven, which is an
extremely close knit worship group,  may not be possible for some
because of location, family climate, availability, etc.

Why is Witchcraft secretive?

The horror of the ‘Burning Time’ is still very real to the Witch.
ŠThe  past persecutions were severe.   Even so,  in today’s  more
enlightened  society the need for complete secrecy  has  lessened
and  many  are  able to share their beliefs  openly.   Very  few,
however,  are  willing to expose their very personal and  private
religious expressions to others who may not understand.

What do I have to do to become a Witch?

The  answer to this question is very simple.   To become a  Witch
one must follow the religion of Witchcraft.   To do this one must
believe  in  the Goddess as primary deity and  follow  the  three
basic  tenets.   How  simple!   How  uncomplicated!   How  Pagan!
Everything  else  concerning witchcraft is simply minor  details.
Details  that  vary from Aspect to Aspect,  Coven  to  Coven  and
individual  to individual.   The details are relatively personal.
They should not become more important than the basic tenets.   If
you do not understand,  believe and practice Witchcraft,  you are
not a Witch.   No one can make you a Witch.  Reading about it can
not  make you a Witch.   An Initiation can not make you a  Witch.
Saying you are a Witch, one thousand and fifty two times, can not
make you a Witch.

In  the search for your individual path beware of those who would
take  advantage  of you.   Do not fall prey to  the  unscrupulous
charlatans who would swindle you in a monetary sense  (mail-order
courses,  charges  for teaching or initiations,  vows of poverty,
etc.),  exploit  you  sexually or manipulate you  for  their  own
personal ego-trips.

THE ABBREVIATED LAWS

                       celt71

                                    THE ABBREVIATED LAWS

‘Tis the Old Law, and the most important of all Laws, that no one may
do anything which will endanger the Craft, or bring us into contact
with the law of the land or any of our persecutors.

* Be it ardane that none shall use the Art (magick) in any way to do
ill to any.
8 words the Wiccan Rede fulfil: An it harm none, do what ye will.

* Respect the privacy of other Coveners. You may reveal the involvement
of no person save yourself.
In case of trouble, the Coven will be disbanded. Should this
happen, all Coveners are to avoid one another for the safety and
well-being of all.  Should this happen, refer to the Old Laws.

* Never accept money for the use of the Art, for money ever smears the
taker (and clouds ethical judgement). For all things magickal, pay
the full price asked without haggling. If it is unaffordable, it is
probably inappropriate in some hidden way.

* In case of dispute, the High Priestess is the final arbiter. Within
the Craft, no law save Craft Law may be invoked. Any who will not
agree, or who will not work under this HPs, may and shall remove
themselves from the Coven. Any of the third (L.T. Initiates OK) may
form a new Coven.

* The traditional way to hear complaints is this: Before the High
Priestess and any other Elders shall come first one, then the other,
then both together to be heard. The decision may be rendered
immediately, one lunar month later, or whenever the time of waiting
is filled.

* The year-and-a-day rules pertains to: The minimum time between
Progressions; The final time of all Leavings; The closings of all
cycles.

THE TEMPLE LAWS

* In order of precedence, you are accountable to: The Gods, your Self,
your High Priestess, your Teacher. Initiates are also accountable to
the Craft as a whole.

* “Pagan Standard Time” gives you 15 minutes leeway for an announced
class or ritual.  If you’ll be any later or won’t make it, CALL!

* Questions are expected, desired, and anticipated.. The only “dumb
question” is the one the student doesn’t ask.

* Common courtesy in all things. When in doubt, it is preferable to err
on the side of caution and silence.

* Ultimately, you are responsible for your own development. Independent
thought and research are strongly encouraged.

Comments on The Abbreviated Laws
by J. Random Folksinger

The Wiccan Rede, while it has been taught widely, is not a
part of the Laws, although it may be considered derivative of them.
There is nothing in the Laws that says that “in case of trouble, the
Coven will be disbanded”. There are, in fact, quite a few possible
solutions to specific instances, not just for “trouble”.
There is nothing in the Laws about unaffordability equalling inappro-
priateness in the purchase of a magickal tool.
What the heck are “L.T. Initiates”? Long Term? Why is is OK for them
to form a Coven when it is plain that you have to be of the Third
Degree?
The traditional way to hear complaints, at least in my set of the Old
Laws, is for the High Priest or High Priestess to convene the Elders.
It says nothing about whether the HP or HPs are included in this group,
but it is assumed that BOTH, not just the HPs, are so included. There
is also nothing in the Old Laws about a “time of waiting”for a decision.
In the Old Laws, the only thing the year-and-a-day rule pertains to
is the leaving of a High Priestess.

Everything in the “Temple Laws” falls in the good-to-very-good
category of advice; NONE of it is in the Old Laws. And I have known a
good many pagans to take PST to mean anytime during the calendar DAY.
There are a number of teachers in my experience to whom you NEVER ask a
question, at penalty of being kicked out of the class; still, a teacher
who can accept this rule is probably a good teacher.

In general, this sheet appears to be a worksheet handed to new
students and gone over with them for a quick rundown of the Craft in
order to go on to other things; in my opinion, giving them this sheet
and NOT reviewing the entire set of the Old Laws (in whatever form) is
doing the students a disservice; having this sheet around for later
reference, on the other hand, is probably a Good Thing.

Principles of Wiccan Beliefs

il_fullxfull_334135319

Principles of Wiccan Beliefs

1.        We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm
of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal
Quarters and Cross Quarter.

2.        We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique
responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with
Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and
consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

3.        We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that
apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary
it is sometimes called ÒsupernaturalÓ, but we see it as lying within
that which is naturally potential to all.

4.        We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as
manifesting through polarity — as masculine and feminine — and that
this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the
interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the
other, knowing each to be supportive to the other. We value sex as
pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the
sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.

5.        We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological,
worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective
Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc. — and we see in the inter-action of
these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal
exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as
necessary for our fulfillment.

6.        We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do
honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge
and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of
themselves in leadership.

7.        We see religion, magick and wisdom in living as being united
in the way one views the world and lives within it — a world view and
philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft — the Wiccan Way.

8.        Calling oneself “Witch” does not make a Witch — but neither
does heredity itself, not the collecting of titles, degrees and
initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself
that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm
to others and in harmony with Nature.

9.        We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a
continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving
meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

10.        Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any
other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its
institutions have claimed to be Òthe only wayÓ and have sought to deny
freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and
belief.

11.        As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the
history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of
various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our
present and our future.

12.        We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we
worship any entity known as “Satan” or “the Devil”, as defined by the
Christian traditions. We do not seek power through the suffering of
others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial
to another.

13.        We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is
contributory to our health and well-being.

The afore mentioned principles are from the Council of American Witches
circa 1974 .

13 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer After Your Year & A Day Learning Period

13 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer After Your Year & A Day Learning Period

 

Below you will find 13 questions that you should be able to answer at the end of your initial study period. Also are included are answers, not necessarily the right answer, but answers to make you think.  The answers are also provided because you have learned so much and perhaps some of the things you might have forgotten. Either way, the answers are just examples and to be used a thought provoking.

 

1. define and describe a pagan. 

“For  the pagan and primitive peoples whom Jews and  Christians  alike
have  always  reviled as idolaters, the moving air, the  fire  on  the
hearth, the rhythm of the seasons, the bird on the wing, the  markings
and  movements  of  the beasts, the  streaming  waters,  the  circling
stars  … all these, and the works of man’s own hand, are alive  with
an intelligible presence.  They are symbolic doorways that invite  the
imagination through to high experience.”
Theodore  Roszak

“It  is necessary to treat the animals well, and to regard all  things
as if they were living beings who hear and understand.”
Johan  Turi,
MITTALUS SAMID BIRRA

In  historic times a pagan would have been any number of peoples  wor-
shiping  nature gods.  This worship seems to have been based  in  pre-
historic forms of religion including shamanism with a pedigree of it’s
oldest  forms  echoing  back more than 30,000  years.   Because  these
religions  were based mostly in tribal cultures emphasizing  tradition
rather  than  sophistication, the sources tend to  be  entirely  oral.
Verbatim  memorization, while it’s possessors survive, tends to  be  a
more exact method of transmitting data than holy texts which can  (and
have been) altered or completely changed.

With the complete suppression of the tradition, however, knowledge  of
paganism  has faded to a faint glimmering of references  and  supposi-
tion.   In modern times a pagan would tend to be someone  feeling  the
lack  of  purity,  lack of originality, lack of  rootedness,  lack  of
foundation  in over-theologized religions whose original  message  has
been overgrown and altered to suit priestly interests, whose  leaders’
preachment  is motivated often by self-interest and whose  ‘qualifica-
tions’  are primarily glandular and (sick) psychological  rather  than
illumination.

The pagans I have met are, in general, more sensitive than normal  and
‘feel’ the world directly, in contrast to this miasmatic culture which
submerges us in ‘safe’ anonymity, relegating us a guaranteed role as a
consumer  unit.  The religions that fail to give us more dignity  than
that,  that fail to foment rebellion against such an insult  naturally
lose  those  more sensitive people.  They fail to grant us a  path  of
rejoining  to ourself.  A pagan seeks this and it is the very lack  of
structure which allows the freedom of thought and feeling and practice
that attracts so many people that have been ‘lost’ by other religions.
In  our ‘culture’ traditions regarding the manner of living are  rele-
gated  to the ‘ignorant’ past and lost.  Responding to this  need  the
neo-pagan  will  try to re-create a life-enhancing  religion  open  to
individual experience based on whatever gleanings of the ancient forms
are left.  Given enough intelligent application and sufficient politi-
cal  freedom,  a reasonable facsimile, true in spirit and  similar  in
some  forms will evolve.  Truly, much of what was lost  was  priceless
and  will never be recovered, but also a great much of what  was  lost
had decayed beyond recovering so that the last people to suffer  under
these  benighted  superstitions that had once  been  vital  religions,
probably were better off without.  We have the opportunity to rebuild,
to renew with vitality, to recover what was good that is still  known.
People  being what they are, divergence seems to be the rule,  yet  we
live in a ‘global village’ and cross-reference and cross-fertilization
is inevitable.  It is the talent of wicca to seek that which works and
as we relearn what can create a life that is true to the heart we will
share.   Given the degree of computer interconnection in our  society,
it  would not be surprising that techniques rediscovered in one  place
would  be known world wide within a season, just by word of  computer.
It  is a time for hard work for what we do now will be what those  who
come after will have to build on.  The freedom of choice and  associa-
tion and abundance of sources almost guarantees that bull in the  name
of  the gods will quickly get trashed.  It is a time for  honesty  and
genius.

A pagan is a being in a state of  becoming.

2.  Define and describe a witch.

I would say that a witch is someone belonging to a coven and  worship-
ing  nature gods.  A witch may have special knowledge and  powers  re-
garding herbal lore, magic, divination, magical flight, separation  of
the  body and soul, love philters, amulets,  exorcism,  trance-medium-
ship, hypnosis, communion with god/dess’, communication with  spirits,
drawing down the Moon, invocation of good and exorcism of evil  influ-
ences, and more, perhaps.  The means of producing these results may be
in the traditional circle, guided by a priest and priestess, by chant-
ing, drum-beating, dancing, ritual invocation and supplication.

These  powers have been supposed to be special wild or inherited  tal-
ents  to  do  evil by intention alone (1) but I feel  they  are,  when
possessed, no more or less than the natural power of life, consciously
directed.   This power is automatically controlled daily  without  our
conscious  direction or realization.  As our digestion or  circulation
function  without  express thought, the life power is utilized  at  an
even more basic level to create our life and world.  Expressed  uncon-
sciously  for whim or feat, self-destruction or in creativity,  it  is
not  without us but a part of us, a part of every living cell.   Thus,
not  only  is it a very legal power to us, but to miss  to  direct  it
consciously would be like missing the oars in a rowboat, the doors  of
a  house.  Some people brag that they never read the  directions  sup-
plied in the package.  To avoid discovering the ‘directions’  supplied
with  life would seem to be to miss most of the glory of being  alive.
(1)  Witches were and are supposed to be entirely evil and opposed  in
every action to the expression of life.  (Surely such a creature would
self-destruct!)  This is an expression of the ‘alien’ theory which has
been used by many (ignorant) cultures to explain the presence of  evil
and imperfection in a world that is ‘supposed’ to be perfect.  It is a
terrifying  theory but apparently people would rather be scared  silly
than  say,  “I made a mistake” or “What seems evil to us is  just  the
natural  working of life.”  The appellation of ‘witch’ has been  given
to Huns, Jews, heretics, and recently to men by some feminists.

3.  Are you one of the above or both?
4.  If so, say what and why. 

I  am myself.  I am what I do.  I have avoided labels for  myself  and
would not start sticking them onto myself based on the attendance of a
few functions.  Precisely, I have not been accepted as an initiate, an
essential step in a tradition oriented to group membership.  I am  not
a pagan in the sense that, outside of weekly circles, I do not worship
any god or goddess.

5.  What do you see as positive in paganism?

I have always felt good in the circle.  I have said it previously that
I am happy to be here.  But in thinking how to answer this question  I
have  found  some answers that have much  reinforced  these  feelings.
What is here in paganism is unique and precious.

Here  there is the encouragement of individuality and also  a  strong,
positive  and unique group identity; this is very rare, especially  in
our society.

Here  there  is  spiritual expression within a  true  construction  of
religion  and including respect for the need for personal  freedom  of
expression; this is very rare in any society.

Here  there is tradition in a society that has eschewed  tradition  in
favor of the new, especially new products; yet what is the meaning  of
products which have no context?

Here there is honor to each sex in a society that is very divisive and
competitive and generally derisive of everyone especially women.  Here
there is a celebration of life in a society that seems to have forgot-
ten  where it came from and remains; which if it recognizes nature  as
valuable converts it into a prepackaged commodity.  Indeed, the  value
of nature is a matter of constant debate, a debate that is  inevitably
won by those who see value only in dollar signs.

Here there is a group of intelligent people large enough to be  inter-
esting  yet small enough that each is important, whether one  attends,
who  one  is and especially if one participates in  helping,  each  is
important.   All these things are RARE in our society;  their  conver-
gence here is unique and precious.

6.  What do you see as negative in paganism. 

I don’t know.  I haven’t had any problems so far.  The need for secre-
cy is inconvenient in some respects particularly at work and with some
friends  who,  I am certain, will never be able to  grasp  the  notion
correctly.   But then secrets can be kind of fun, too.  I  have  found
the  essential  facts  of paganism not directly accessible  but  I  am
beginning to understand that it is a fairly large subject.  (Added  15
June ’89)  A certain lack of focus.  It is understandable since  there
is no central authority to impose goals.  Yet is should be possible to
agree on basic needs and goals and though there would be no  overseer,
a  kind  of competition based on comparison of  results  (apparent  in
fests, perhaps).  To achieve this, however, we need to understand what
is  needed and why.  Still there does seem to be a good deal  of  work
being done in different places.  The quality and amount of information
is expanding every year.

7.  What is your concept of death?

An incomprehensible, insensible condition concluding our actions  here
on earth.  A period of summation and consolidation; having shed to the
earth  the accumulation of errors and age in the body, one is  reborn,
washed  clean in the blood of the new life.  I particularly  like  the
idea  that it might be something like Scrooge’s Christmas Eve;  seeing
and understanding the events of one’s life, then the regrets of  unex-
pressed love would be the motive impelling the soul to rebirth.

But then I don’t really know.  It might be nothing.

8.   What  do the following words bring to your mind:  god,  goddess,
priest, priestess. 

God, Goddess, ineffable, incomprehensible being beyond our concept  of
good  or  evil.  The notion of sex in gods is our  convention  to  aid
philosophical  discussion and to assist in forming an emotional  rela-
tionship.   (added 15 June ’89)  “Maybe something more, rooted in  our
nature.”, Daniel’s comment.

Priest, priestess: persons who have made a commitment to further their
religion  by their personal effort.  Being ordained or  initiated  and
all that.  The sexual distinction is trivial, relatively speaking,  of
course.   The essential act is that of spiritual guidance and this  is
more a matter of training and talent.

9.  What are the privileges and obligations of a teacher?

To  share knowledge, to have one’s expressions listened to,  to  enjoy
the  responses of one’s students.  To be responsible in what  and  how
things  are  taught.  To admit freely areas of one’s doubt  or  little
knowledge  to be clear in expression and patient in  explanation.   To

respect and respond to the students efforts as the teacher’s purpose.

10.  What are the privileges and responsibilities of a student?

To  share  knowledge, to enjoy the attendance of a  teacher  to  one’s
education.   To work actively toward the development of  one’s  educa-
tion, to respect the teacher and cooperate and trust, within reason.
The teacher’s responsibilities are greater.

11.  What do you seek from Wicca?

A  personal path and some help along the way.  Friends that don’t  say
things like “You don’t believe THAT, do you?”

12.   Are  you more attracted to the religious or  practical  side  of
Wicca?

I can’t say.  My conception of any sincerely religious person is  that
he  tries to express his convictions into his life.  To me,  it  seems
that  the  most potent form of prayer is in work.  Or  like  Gurdjieff
said,  “Work as if everything depends on work.  Pray as if  everything
depends on prayer.”  It seems to me the lack of practical work  leaves
a  religion without a skeleton, the rest of the tissue has nothing  to
hang  on.  I would say that the practical side, including much of  the
wisdom teachings, should not be separated from the religious except as
a convention to facilitate teaching.

13.  Are there any areas of this framework that you particularly  wish
to study.  What  and why.

I’m not sure.  Right now I’m just taking it all in in any order  what-
ever.  I would like to understand the philosophical framework better.                                            Moon lore has happily occupied me this last  year
and  promises  to  be a long-continuing interest.  The  laws  and  the
social framework of wicca are also very intriguing.  My idea now about
ritual work is that it is possibly best as a form of self-therapy,  at
least  in the beginning, since all of us come to this  very  demanding
subject  full  of  flaws enough to trip us up  constantly  unless  our
personal peculiarities can be pinned down and dealt with.

A Little Humor For Your Day – A Food Valentine

A Food Valentine

Cabbage always has a heart, green beans string along.
You’re such a Tomato, will you Peas to me belong?

You’ve been the Apple of my eye, you know how much I care;
So Lettuce get together, we’d make a perfect Pear.

Now, something’s sure to Turnip, to prove you can’t be Beet;
So, if you Carrot all for me, let’s let our tulips meet.

Don’t Squash my hopes and dreams now, bee my Honey, dear;
Or tears will fill Potato’s eyes, while Sweet Corn lends an ear.

I’ll Cauliflower shop and say, our dreams are Parsley mine.
I’ll work and share my Celery, so be my VALENTINE.